Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Song-by-Song Review of Raising Up the Dead: God’s Hometown

She spent her days never breaking her gaze on his face
She knew every line
She whispered to him, but only to make him give chase
Worked every time
He was the one, when it came to the son that they saw,
He showed them how
They called him Ernest, his wife called her mother-in-law
Asked her: “What now?”

Living in God’s hometown
Standing here in my wedding gown
Living in God’s hometown

So with everyone watching she stole all the clocks from the walls
Charged for the time
But what could she do, she’s just telling the truth after all
That’s not a crime
When Ernest comes knocking, she jumps in the closet
And stays just out of sight
It’s there she confesses, surrounded by dresses
That make her feel alright about

Both of them guilty of the same crime, same crime
Only believing it would save them

Yikes! Another “She.” There’s something with the “She” on this album. Perhaps the prominence of Danielle’s singing and writing is bringing out this representative feminine. Maybe it’s a secret code. I’m not sure.

Anyway, this song also throws me for a loop, in a wonderful way. I do think that it has something to do with honesty. The only name in the song is “Ernest,” which sounds like “earnest.” Someone who is “in earnest” is telling the truth. The couple introduced in the first verse are not being upfront with each other. She only whispers to him to make him give chase. Instead of really talking, she calls her mother-in-law. “Ernest” comes in after she steals the clocks, and this sudden shock of honesty causes her to hide in the closet where she is surrounded by things that make her feel alright. Only being honest that they committed the same crime (“believing it”) will save them.

I admit to not being sure where or what “God’s Hometown” is. It could be Jerusalem, or heaven, or Los Angeles. Or Bethlehem. I just don’t know. There’s also the issue of the metaphor of a wedding gown again. Dresses are another album theme.

I love the slightly schizophrenic sound of whatever instrument makes that rattle in the beginning. It really gets to the brokenness in the song.

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